7 ways to deal with the emotional blow of losing your job

Getting fired can be brutal. While you shouldn’t take it personally (after all, most layoffs are the result of tough economic times or cost-cutting efforts, not a reflection of your performance or work ethic), many people who lose their jobs find themselves questioning their professional value and Self esteem.

layoff anxiety no joke Having a job, even a shoddy one that you’re desperately trying to quit and forget about, often provides a sense of purpose and stability. Losing your job at any time can completely change your life, and of course there is also the sudden financial hit that can threaten your livelihood.

In other words, there are a ton of factors that can make layoffs really hard on your mental health, including loss of income, status, daily structure, social support, and, for those who feel their work defines them, self-esteem and identity. There is also the inherent uncertainty and confusion that often comes with Job search and plot your next move, Dr Connie Wanberg, an organizational psychologist at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, tells SELF. “Unemployment is a very stressful life event, and not everyone experiences it in the same way,” says Dr. Wanberg.

If you’re here because you were recently laid off (or maybe someone you care about lost their job), there are a few ways to deal with the monumental stress and pressure and hopefully start to feel at least a little better about your sudden state of unemployment.

1. Acknowledge the loss and allow yourself to grieve.

Duel it is a natural part of recovering from any type of loss, including jobs. It is common to experience typical grief reactions, including denial, anger, and depression, after being fired. Dr. Linda Kim, psychiatrist and executive trainer for the women-focused healthcare organization Moon Mental Health, SELF is told. Because any major loss is a lot to process, you may need a little time to recognize what happened and feel your feelings. Take a day, three days, two weeks—whatever you need or can realistically afford—to think about the job and how it felt to lose it, suggests Dr. Kim. So, give those feelings a name, be it anxiety, anger, stress, embarrassment or embarrassment. This kind of emotional reflection won’t immediately change your circumstances, she says, but labeling your specific feelings (as opposed to general descriptors like “awful” or “terrible”) has been proven to reduce stress and could eventually help you think more positively and clearly.

You may feel the immediate pressure to start your job search and get back to work, but giving yourself some space to recover from the emotional blow can help ease the blow. “When possible, allow yourself a short break, even if it’s just a day or two, to take a breather and focus on taking care of yourself,” says Dr. Kim. Take a step back and do some activities that bring you joy (like exploring nature either leaning on your creative side) can help you get out of your head and recover, he adds.

2. Try to create a new routine that feels good to you.

Don’t be ashamed to use your free time to sleep, enjoy the latest season of white lotus, or going back to an old hobby, but adding some structure to your days, even if it’s just jotting down a few activities, can protect your well-being after the layoff. Routines can act as a stress buffer while also giving you the support you need to reach your daily goals and ultimately helping you stay on track to land a new job sooner, says Dr. Wanberg. In fact, research suggests that daily routines can help give meaning to lifereduce stress levels, regulate sleep and improve mood.

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